Canberra holds off resurgent Gold Coast - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Canberra holds off resurgent Gold Coast

By Bonny Symons-Brown 06/06/2010 05:53:13 PM Comments (0)

Canberra coach David Furner praised his side's mental toughness despite the Raiders almost surrendering a 20-point lead in their 28-24 NRL win over Gold Coast at Canberra Stadium on Sunday.

The Raiders scored five tries to the Titans' four in a nail-biting match which came down to the dying seconds.

When winger Daniel Vidot scored just after halftime, the Raiders were sitting pretty up 26-6 in front of 10,425 fans.

But their trend of second-half slumps continued, as the Titans ran in three unanswered tries to set up a tense finale.

The Titans had a chance to pull level right on the fulltime whistle, but backrower Anthony Laffranchi was caught with possession on the last tackle after opting to go for the tryline himself.

Furner admitted the Raiders were forced to scramble for the win.

"You give a good side like that that much possession, you put yourself under pressure," Furner told reporters.

But he said a big display of courage under fire ultimately got them across the line.

"Our first half, with our shape and everyone knowing their roles, was pretty good," he said.

"Then that fatigue set in, in the second half, and a lot of things happen when players ... are in that position.

"You need to be strong mentally and I thought our team showed that."

Fullback Josh Dugan scored the home side's first try just 65 seconds in before Gold Coast centre Joseph Tomane answered back with his own four-pointer after five minutes.

But Canberra reasserted themselves, with tries to lock Trevor Thurling, centre Joel Thompson and five-eighth Terry Campese setting up a handy 22-6 halftime lead.

Vidot was next to find the line minutes after the break before the Titans comeback kicked into gear.

Second-rower Mark Minichiello scored in the 58th minute to make it 26-12, before captain Scott Prince answered Campese's penalty goal with another try in the 66th minute to close the gap to 28-18.

Gold Coast big man Anthony Laffranchi continued the resurgence, taking his team to within four points of the Raiders by the 73rd minute.

However, he couldn't repeat the dose in the dying seconds.

It's the Titans third loss in a row, but coach John Cartwright remained positive.

"You can't dwell on that, there's not enough time between games to worry," he said.

"Every side at some stage has a bump in their season and the good ones kick out of it - that's our challenge."

Players from both sides were battered and bruised but seemed to escape serious injury.

Gold Coast five-eighth Greg Bird copped a knock on the knee while Dugan will undergo knee scans on Monday after it was injury in a lifting tackle by Matthew White and Nathan Friend, which was placed on report.

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